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Transnational Chinese Theatres and People’s Theatre Networks in East Asia
This talk introduces the notion of transnational Chinese theatres as a practice and method of intercultural performance collaboration constituted by mobile networks of relations. Transnational Chinese theatres are conceptualized as a performative inflection of notions of minor transnationalism and inter-Asian referencing – or (trans-)Asia as method – which foregrounds collaboration as a generative site of transgressive national imagination and counter-memory. The performance series comprising of 38th Parallel Still Play and 38th Parallel in Taipei is examined to illustrate the trans-Asian ramifications of transnational Chinese theatres across grassroots performance communities of People’s Theatre practitioners in East Asia. Premièred in 2005 in Gwangju, South Korea, the series was co-devised by the Shanghai collective Grass Stage with collaborators from Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul to investigate contested histories of national atrocity through transnational comparison. The performances cross-reference the Korean division and the China-Taiwan conflict to reflect on traumatic memories of social movements and political protest and explore geopolitical relations in East Asia during and after the Cold War.

May 3, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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